Kelowna’s 90-year-young Conny Stamhuis is ready to attempt her sixth 2.1 kilometre swim across Okanagan Lake on July 16, 2022.
Swimming across the lake is not Stamhuis’ biggest challenge this year, however. In celebrating her 90th birthday she set herself the goal of raising $10,000 for Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders is an international, independent medical humanitarian organization that provides medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disaster or exclusion from healthcare, without regard to race, religion or political affiliation.
Stamhuis, who emigrated to Canada from the Netherlands at age 20, studied nursing in her forties. “It was always a dream of mine to join MSF but my husband did not believe in equality of sexes at the time so I never did.” “With the war in Ukraine and all the other tragic assaults against humanity, I feel stronger than ever that I need to make a contribution. Although I can’t join them at 90, I can still raise funds to support their efforts. I need and would appreciate all the help I can get to reach my goal” says Stamhuis. You can support Conny’s goal by clicking on this link to donate to Doctors Without Borders.
The petite Stamhuis, an inspiration to many around her, started swimming again at age 65. “I suppose you could call me a late bloomer. I just love how swimming has enriched my life and has helped me to stay active in the community,” she says. Swimming is a family affair for the Stamhuis clan with Conny’s son Michael having successfully completed the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Kelowna 14 times and her daughter Jonie and son-in-law Ken, being her escorts across the lake.
Stamhuis is a member of Okanagan Masters Swim Club and recently participated in the 2022 BC Masters Swimming Championships in White Rock. She set a provincial record in the 90-94 age group for the 200-metre backstroke and also placed first in the 50-metre breaststroke and 50-metre backstroke. She was inducted into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Do you know someone in the swimming community who demonstrates determination, inspiration and a positive attitude? If so, nominate them for this year’s Jan Morrow Award! Nominations are being accepted from now until midnight July 4th, 2022. Learn more about the Jan Morrow Award and nominate someone.
Here we are in June already which means the Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinics are starting! The first clinic starts this Saturday, June 11th at Boyce-Gyro Beach in Kelowna and start promptly at 7am. You must be registered for any of the Across the Lake Swim events to take the clinics for free.
To speed up the sign in process at the first clinic, please download and print the waiver, sign and bring with you to the clinic. Download the waiver.
We will have water and coffee available, but keeping with our Swim Free Initiative to reduce and recycle, please bring your own water container and coffee cup.
Photo credit: Alexis MacMillan
Package pickup is Thursday, July 18th and Friday, July 19th from 3-7PM at the Capital News Centre, 4105 Gordon Drive in Kelowna. Here’s a map
At package pickup you will get:
- A fancy gear bag
- Your numbered swim cap
- Your wave #
- A timing chip
- Our award winning towel
- A bunch of goodies
- Additional instructions
Yes, someone else can pick up your package for you! They will need your Registration ID you received in your confirmation email.
This year package pickup is on the indoor soccer field so once you come into the Capital News Centre, take a left and head to the indoor fields.
Look for our flags which will direct you to where you need to go.
The Kid’s Shore Splash! was such a huge success last year that we’ve expanded it for this year!
The Kid’s Shore Splash! is a fun, short, safe swim along the edge of the lake the morning of the swim on July 20th.
It’s a very scaled down version of the main swim! Registration is open to kids aged 5-12 and is meant for those who have no or very little swim event experience. There are two choices for distance, either a 25m or a 50m. The kids get a timing chip, gear bag, swim cap and towel, swim along the shore and finish under the arch like the big kids!
It’s a super fun, supervised, shallow swim – and the best of all – it’s FREE!
Online Registration is now open:
==> REGISTER NOW
Sunday, July 14th, 2019 is the final day to register for this year’s swim!
Don’t miss out on the 71st edition of this iconic summer event.
Join over 1300 participants from all over the world who are challenging themselves to swim the 2.1K distance from West Kelowna to City Park, Kelowna.
==> REGISTER NOW
Need some inspiration? Here is the CBC story of Linda Sharp, who was the final swimmer in last year’s swim.
Listen to the full feature story (7:42 mins):
Congratulations to CBC Kelowna’s Sarah Penton, who won a Dave Rogers Short Feature Award for this story.
Photo credit: Sarah Penton/CBC News
So who want’s to be a VIP? You do!
And now you can as we’ve just released a limited number of VIP Packages!
- Reserved parking spot in City Park so you can avoid the parking chaos
- VIP bypass lines so you can zip to the front
- Free t-shirt
- Double pancakes
- A second award winning towel
All this for just $89
(does not include registration fee)
If you’ve already registered, you can easily add a VIP Package to your registration by logging in to events.com, then choose ‘Edit Registration’ the Add items.
If you haven’t registered yet, you can add the VIP Package when you register!
We are thrilled to announce that Fresh Air Kelowna is the new sponsor of our Open Water Swim Clinics.
Each year more than 700 swimmers attend the clinics which start this year on June 8th, 2019. The Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinics run for 6 consecutive Saturday mornings with the last one on July 13th, 2019. Each clinic brings the best open water swim coaches to help swimmers get comfortable in the open water and teach skills such as how to sight and how to swim with others.
More than 50% of the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Kelowna participants are new swimmers and the free clinics ($5 entry if you are not registered for one of our swims) help swimmers transition from training in the pool to swimming in open water.
The Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinics in Kelowna are included FREE when you register for one of our events.
Photo credit: Alexis MacMillan